Police Scotland scraps controversial IT system pilot

POLICE Scotland has scrapped plans to pilot test a controversial new IT system amid hardware problems and a “higher than expected number of defects” being detected during its testing.
Plans to pilot the new IT system have been scrapped. Picture: Wiki CommonsPlans to pilot the new IT system have been scrapped. Picture: Wiki Commons
Plans to pilot the new IT system have been scrapped. Picture: Wiki Commons

The i6 project, which is bringing together more than 100 existing systems belonging to the country’s eight legacy forces, is expected to “go live” in December.

But the force has had to cancel a pilot which was due to begin on 30 September in Inverclyde and Renfrewshire after hardware problems were identified last month.

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The i6 project has been described by Police Scotland as the “largest and most significant transformational change ever undertaken by the service”.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s sub committee on policing are due to discuss the system’s implementation during a meeting today.

The roll out is being closely scrutinised after a project with the similar aim of creating a common platform initiated by the

Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland in 2006 failed to deliver its objectives and was closed down in 2012. Final costs of that project were estimated to be £8.7 million.

In a submission to the sub committee, Police Scotland said: “In early August, an issue with the hardware technology which runs i6 was highlighted to Police Scotland.

“The issue is not specific to i6; it is a global issue and will impact other organisations using the same hardware technology.”

The force said it had taken the decision to change hardware associated with the projecting prior to going live.

While there is no additional cost to the force, it means the proposed pilot will now not go ahead.

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However, Police Scotland said the initial go live date of 7 December was unaffected.

The submission added: “Due to the necessary removal of the pilot, various training and deployment replanning options were formulated and presented to the (i6) Board on 28 August 2015.

“The Board approved the option recommended by the i6 management team, to commencing the roll out on 7 December 2015, in West Dunbartonshire and Argyle & Bute Division with the final completion date for roll out remaining unaffected.

“The programme is currently in the midst of User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This has revealed a higher than expected number of defects‟ in the solution.

“Police Scotland and Accenture are working collaboratively to resolve these defects and Accenture have committed additional resources to resolve the defects within the projected timescales.”